Summer School for Skopje University, North Macedonia

The term “configuration” implies specific interrelationships between individual arranged elements. These can be physical as well as social relationships, patterns of interaction and negotiation.

The summer school investigated the village of Lazaropole as a palimpset of the subtle relationships between architectural structure, settlement pattern, and landscape. These relationships coalesce to form the unique configurations that define the specific qualities of this place. The building typologies, circulation patterns, and interstitial spaces of this remote mountain village have grown out of subtle relationships between human activity, topography, materials, and resources, all of which are bound by a utilitarian relationship to the surrounding landscape to form the district configuration(s) of Lazaropole.

The summer school aimed to decipher the elements and relationships of these configurations, which were determined through a settlement process dating back to the Middle Ages. Understanding these configurations may allow an insight into the contemporary layer of re-appropriation of this physical and cultural landscape under the contrasting circumstances of more leisure-orientated, sporadic habitation.

The theme of configuration was explored with workshop participants through the creation of a collective intervention to register their investigations. Its realisation became a celebration of the process, technique, craft, and satisfaction of ‘making’ to reflect the qualities and configurations of Lazaropole.

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